Willie Nelson has been married four times and knows he hasn’t always been a great husband.
In “Me and Sister Bobbie,” a book co-authored by Nelson, 87, and his sister Bobbie, who plays in his band, the country music legend writes honestly about his marital shortcomings.
The “Pancho & Lefty” singer confesses that his second wife Shirley Collie discovered Nelson’s infidelity via the mail when they received a bill from a Houston hospital.
“I tried to play it off as no big deal,” Nelson writes. “I told her that I had to go to the hospital for something minor.
“Shirley wasn’t buying that for one simple reason. The bill said the charges were for the birth of a baby girl, Paula Carlene, born to a Mrs. Connie Nelson.”
Naturally Shirley was curious to know who Mrs. Connie Nelson was.
“Couldn’t lie,” Nelson recalls. “Was caught flat-footed. Had to get the words out of my mouth. ‘Connie’s my girlfriend and Paula’s our daughter.’”
He wed Connie Kopek in 1971, the same year he divorced Shirley but, “I still hadn’t reformed,” the “Honeysuckle Rose” star admits. “I messed up another marriage. My wandering ways were too much for any woman to put up with.”
In the mid-eighties he fell madly in love with Annie Marie D’Angelo, a makeup artists on a movie called “Stagecoach” starring Nelson, Kris Krstofferson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
“My love for Annie was all-consuming,” Nelson reveals, “but winning her over wasn’t easy. She had to be sure my marriage was over and that I was truly free.”
“You’ve already seen that when it comes to romance,” he continued, “I had a gift for complicating things. But marrying Annie wasn’t complicated at all. It’s about the smartest thing I ever did. I can that because, thirty-four years after we first met, we’re still together and going strong.”
Nelson has seven children from his four marriages.
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